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Pensions, Support Payments Rise with CPI

 

The Australian

 

September 2, 2008

 

Australia

 

Millions of Australians will receive an increase in their pensions and income support payments when the CPI increase kicks in later this month.


Pensions, allowances and some family payments will be indexed against the consumer price index (CPI) increase on September 20. 


The 2.8 per cent CPI increase, calculated over the past six months, will lift the single pension by around $15 a fortnight to around $560. 


Families Minister Jenny Macklin said it would provide some assistance to the two million aged pensioners finding it hard to make ends meet. 


"With the cost of food, electricity, gas and petrol going up, it's getting harder for people on pensions or allowances to pay the bills," Ms Macklin said in a statement. 


The Australian Greens have used the announcement to renew calls for a $30 a week increase to the aged pension. 


Greens senator Rachel Siewert said the Government should realise the cost of living for pensioners is in excess of the CPI. 


"The Government should be increasing the pension at the same time as this scheduled CPI increase," Senator Siewert said in a statement. 


"It is high time the Rudd Government put in place measures that ensure a reasonable standard of living for older Australians." 


Other pensions that will be increased include the wife, disability support and veterans service pensions. 


A further one million people on the Newstart Allowance, carer and parenting payments, sickness, partner, mature age and widow allowances will receive a boost in payments. So will people on rent assistance and some concessional allowances. 


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